Home COVID-19 Stay away from fake news to protect your mental health

Stay away from fake news to protect your mental health

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Covid-19 has plunged the world into uncertainty and the constant fake news and myths about the pandemic can feel relentless. All of this is taking its toll on our state of mind at a time when we most need to stay calm and positive. When in doubt, check out these myth busters compiled by the World Health Organisation. 

Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25°C DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease

You can catch covid-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of covid-19. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

You can recover from the coronavirus disease. Catching the new coronavirus DOES NOT mean you will have it for life.

Most of the people who catch covid-19 can recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies. If you catch the disease, make sure you treat your symptoms. If you have a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – but call your health facility by telephone first. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.

Being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort DOES NOT mean you are free from the coronavirus disease or any other lung disease.

The most common symptoms of covid-19- are dry cough, tiredness and fever. Some people may develop more severe forms of the disease, such as pneumonia. The best way to confirm if you have the virus producing covid-19- disease is with a laboratory test.  You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous.

Drinking alcohol does not protect you against covid-19 and can be dangerous

Frequent or excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of health problems.

Covid-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates

From the evidence so far, the covid-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting covid-19. The best way to protect yourself against covid-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.

There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.

The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.

To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.

Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?

No. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth). Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.

Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?

No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.

The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.

Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.

Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?

Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.

Ivor Price
Ivor Price
Ivor Price is a multi-award-winning journalist and co-founder of Food For Mzansi.
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